Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boys and Bras

Disclaimer: Do not read if you are easily offended or embarrassed at the mention of human body parts.

Last night, Grins was helping me fold the laundry, as he often loves to do. When he came across my unmentionables, he informed me that Wahl-E wore a bra on his head. (Thank you Disney/Pixar, as if children need encouragement in such antics.) He then informed me that Mrs. Incredible doesn't wear a bra. "Really?" I asked, "How do you know?" To which he replied "Her chests bounce when she runs."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Please bless Daddy..."

For the past two weeks, the Mr. has been working 'Night Float', which means he goes to the hospital at 4:30pm and returns at 8:30am in the morning. If you do the math, that means he has 8 hours to eat, shower, and sleep before he has to head back to work. He's been trying to sleep less so that he can squeeze a little family time in - but even getting 6 hours of sleep a day, he still ends up sleeping most of the day and, as a result, we haven't seen much of him for the past few weeks.

Tonight, Grins' solved the we-miss-Daddy dilemma in his bedtime prayer, when he said "Please bless Daddy to have a good night a work, and please bless all of his patients to get better soon so he won't have to go to work anymore."

Why didn't I think of that?

Friday, March 11, 2011


This New England winter has taken some adjustment on my part. It has been long, cold, and, at times, dreary. But once I finally stopped complaining about how much time I was spending shoveling, and got over how cold it was, I decided that, since winter was here to stay (for awhile, at least), we might as well enjoy it!
So, we began sledding several times a week. Wiggles is actually much more courageous than either of my others were at her age - she may have a look of terror on her face while going down the hill, but it's usually accompanied by frantic laughter, and she often asks to go again! She usually only goes down a few times, as opposed to Angel and Grins who would probably NEVER choose to stop on their own. Even after hours of sledding, and after their gloves/boots/snow gear have long since soaked through, it still takes every ounce of coersion / negotiation / threats / even bribery (!) to get them to call it a day when they are sledding. It is just THAT fun. We've tried the cemetary near our house, Payson Park, and a neighbor's hill, but the favorite destination is the hill behind Angel's school (where these pictures were taken). While I may complain about the New England extremes in temperatures, I will say that you can't go sledding every day in Hawaii! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CSN Store Review

Awhile back, I posted about CSN stores - a network of over 200 stores, conveniently captured on one main website. They have everything from swing sets to wall clocks to bed linens and more! Truly amazing what you can find - I think I've spent hours perusing all they have to offer, and just scratched the surface!

I was asked to do a review on a purchase from CSN stores. I purchased a shaker oak bench:
Boraam Industries Inc Shaker Bench in Oak
The bench arrived in about 5 business days, as expected. It arrived packaged very well, in excellent condition. I was actually very impressed with the quality of the bench for the price - nice, solid wood, and a well-constructed piece of furniture. Some minor assembly was required, and the instructions made it easy for me (and Grins) to complete in less than 5 minutes. The bench was larger than I had anticipated (the measurements listed in the item description were accurate, but it was bigger than I had of the major downfalls to online shopping.) But, as I said, good condition and quality. Overall, I was happy with my purchase and my dealings with CSNstores were positive. The only thing I would mention to 'be aware' of when shopping with CSN stores: they advertise "hassle-free returns" which may be true (I haven't had to test it because I was happy with my purchase)- but when I looked into their return policy I realized that, at least on items with free shipping, you have to pay for shipping (both ways) if you return the if you purchased an item for $20 that shipped to you for free, but then decided to return it, you would end up getting only about $5 dollars credited back to you, once they subtracted the initial and return postage from your $20 purchase. Not that I fault them for doing this - but returns are certainly not 'risk-free' and you don't get all your money back - so keep that in mind when ordering!

Overall, though, I would definitely order from CSN stores again!

Captain "Ramoni"

Today Grins said "I want to hold my scriptures, wear a cape, and carry a sign, so I can be like Captain Ramoni (Moroni). Will you help me write the sign, please?"

"Sure!" I agreed. "What should it say?"

He brought me a paper and a dowel, dictated the following to me, word for word (in case you can't read the sign): "The one who I love best is my family. The second one who I love is Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father." Then he instructed me on how to tape the sign together. (And notice the spiderman cape he is wearing....)

Where does he come up with this stuff? Man, I love this kid!!!

Melting snow

Well, after 4 long months of dreary gray skies, sub-zero temperatures, and more snow than I've probably ever seen in all my years combined (seriously!), the SUN is starting to shine! It is magnificent and brings me more pleasure than I ever would have imagined. I realize now how I've taken the sun for granted - I suddenly feel invigorated by it's presence (though, ironically, in the summer heat my energy is zapped! But that's another story...)

Anyhow, when you mix warm sun with snow, the result is - you guessed it - water. Lots of water.
This is the parking lot through which we walk twice a day taking Angel to and from school. The monstrosity of the puddles is hard to capture in photographs - it covers the kids boots in some parts! But, we don our boots (aka puddle jumpers) and raincoats, and the children never tire of splashing / jumping / stamping / running through the puddles, despite the consistently resulting SOAKING WET socks, pants and feet. Ah, the simple pleasures in life. (Of course, I'm dreading when the ground below is no longer frozen and all this water mixes with the soil - MUD splashing is far less enjoyable to clean up than water! So I will enjoy the puddles of melted snow while they last!!)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

"Dark Fayter"

Since we've never seen/read/watched or even discussed Star Wars, Luke Skywalker, or The Force, or anything remotely related to it, I have no idea where this new obsession has come from. All I know is that boys have ways of discovering wars and weapons one way or another....

Step aside, Thomas the Tank Engine; Grins' latest interest is Darth Vader.

Suddenly, my little arts and crafts-opposed son is drawing and sculpting masterpieces! A few weeks ago, Grins began drawing "Dark Fayter" as he
calls him - even in church, when he's supposed to draw 'church' related pictures. Last week the playdoh turned into Darth Vader and a red "life saver", and last night as we were writing letters to Aunt Abbie (at
outdoor school), the topic came up yet again. I don't know how long this phase will last, and to be honest, I'm not entirely thrilled with it, but I know it is near and dear to Grins' heart because I haven't seen him this interested in drawing, sculpting or writing since....well, ever!

So, while I can think of things I'd rather have him drawing and writing about, I am always happy to see my children discover a passion - and, though Darth Vader is from "The Dark Side", it seems harmless enough. And, as I've learned with my children, "it's just a phase!"

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My tender-hearted son

This evening Grins joined me and some Young Women as we went around visiting some of the less-active Young Women in our ward. We decided to stop in and see a woman whose fiance passed away just last night. It is such a sad situation - they were to be married in a month or two, but unfortunately he suddenly fell ill and had died within just a few days. We sat and talked to her for quite awhile, during which Grins whispered in my ear (more than once) if we could please go home. It was somewhat of a depressing scene and conversation, and I suppose he must have felt uncomfortable. But he continued to wait (fairly) patiently as we spoke with and listened to her.

Later, as I tucked him into bed, in his prayers he asked "Please bless Sister....what's the lady's name again that plays the piano in our church?...Please bless her that you can give her back her husband....." It brought tears to my eyes to hear such a sweet, thoughtful little request. What a gem - he is so thoughtful and tender-hearted! I love my little boy.


The other day while running errands, Wiggles and Grins had such awesome behavior at the mall that we decided they had earned a little go-around on the carousel! At the end, the woman stamped their hand, and Wiggles said "Look! I have a tattoo!" It was so cute! Man, I love my kids! I spend (almost) every moment of every day with them, and I still can't get enough!

(These pics from my phone aren't the best, but I think my kids look cute any time, anywhere! :)

Monday, March 07, 2011


Last month, I decided to elimiate sugar from my diet for one month. I find that the easiest way to 'eliminate' something from my diet is merely to focus on ADDING more enriching foods, rather than focus on what we are avoiding. The kids have done remarkably well with this.
For instance, at breakfast one morning, I made crepes (a weekly family favorite that I feel is relatively healthy when I use whole wheat flour and don't add sugar). The kids asked why there was no cinnamon & sugar or maple syrup. I explained that I just didn't feel right about feeding "plain, old, nutritionally empty" sugar to my children, whom I love so dearly, and who are growing; that I felt much better about feeing them fruits and vegetables which are RICH in vitamins and nutrients. They embraced my explanation and said "Thank you, Mommy!", and we all thoroughly enjoyed our fruit and (plain) yogurt topped crepes! Grins has since added "thank you for the very nourishing fruits and vegetables" in his mealtime prayers - so sweet! :)
Through this little 'experiment', I have realized that we weren't eating NEARLY enough vegetables and fruits - I was getting nearly 5 a day but have now been aiming for 9. Although my children like most vegetables, 9 servings a day has seemed excessive at times, so I've found sneaking vegetables into smoothies to be enormously effective! I began making green smoothies (spinach, plain yogurt, banana, and any other fruit I may have lying around), and we have all very much enjoyed them.

Yesterday, though, we were out of spinach, so I simply made a strawberry-banana-carrot smoothie. Angel said "Mom! What on earth is that pink stuff?" When I explained that it was a smoothie, she exclaimed, "Ha! Who has ever heard of a PINK smoothie? They are supposed to be green!"
I had to laugh...what a cutie! And, since I don't often photograph my food, here's a picture of Angel this morning on her way to school...she insisted on wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a beaded necklace, as if she were a little rock star. This girl does give me a 'run for my money' so to speak (come to think of it, both of my girls do!) but she is oh so worth every bit of it! How I love my little Angel!